My favorite dairy-free blueberry pancake recipe

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent RiotA weekend morning in our house is not complete without a homemade breakfast. A lot of the time it’s waffles but almost as often we end up making pancakes. I have always been a huge fan of pancakes (and pumpkin pancakes in the fall!) and never make any recipe for classic blueberry pancakes other than the one I got from my mom, who got it from my grandma. I’m not sure where this recipe originated, but it’s the one we’ve been cooking up since I was a little girl and to me there’s nothing tastier. There have been many a drop of pancake batter spilled on this old recipe card, but by now I’ve cooked it so many times I know the whole thing by heart.

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent RiotWhen my youngest daughter Edith was born and we realized that she had a dairy allergy, the classic family pancake recipe was suddenly out of the question. The version I created to replace it uses just a few little tweaks and has become something just as tasty that our whole family (Edith included) can enjoy. If you aren’t dealing with anyone who avoids dairy you could certainly go back to the original recipe ingredients (whole milk and real butter) but I actually sort of prefer the taste and texture of the non-dairy version.

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent RiotMy grandma’s recipe called for blueberries (and I LOVE blueberry pancakes) but sometimes the kids would rather have heart shaped pancakes instead of blueberry ones. Most days we do a few of each. These are just as good without the berries (thanks to a healthy dose of cinnamon) so whether you add blueberries or not they’re sure to be delicious.

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent RiotThe key to a perfectly cooked pancake is to not rush it – patience is a virtue when it comes to your griddle. If it’s too hot you’ll have burnt outsides and gooey insides. Aim for a low to medium heat and get a cup of coffee to sip while they cook nice and slowly. When bubbles start to cover the top side you’ll know it’s time to flip them over.

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent Riot

In our house we like to keep things simple and with as short of an ingredient list as possible, so I love that I can substitute coconut oil into most of my baking in lieu of butter. It is just one simple ingredient that’s easy to have on hand and better for you than manufactured products like vegan butter. It does, however, leave a bit of a subtle coconutty tropical taste (and smell, mmmm) so if coconut isn’t your thing, feel free to use your preferred dairy free butter substitute. My older kids have never commented on the switch from butter to coconut oil and I love the taste!

Grandma’s (newly dairy-free) blueberry pancakes

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1/8 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a good hefty dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Directions

In a large bowl, beat egg together with almond milk and melted coconut oil until thoroughly combined. Add sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and stir well again. Once all ingredients are well mixed, add in flour and stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Add in blueberries if desired. Heat griddle over low to medium heat. Spoon batter onto griddle and allow to cook until bubbles form on the top side. Flip and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Enjoy!

Dairy free pancake recipe - Permanent Riot

My favorite dairy-free blueberry pancake recipe

The big and exciting plans

I can’t believe it when I look at these – the renovations are already in progress as I type and there aren’t any rooms that still look the way that they did when I took the photos. Even though there are big chunks of drywall missing and no flooring (it’s just concrete slab at the moment) I can already feel the new space coming together. And it’s just every bit as amazing as I’ve been picturing it! So different from these before photos, but somehow still recognizable as the same beautiful house.

When we first started dreaming up our ultimate wishlist of every change we’d like to make in the house we quickly realized that we weren’t going to have the timeline or budget to do every single thing right now. This looks like a big list of projects that we’re undertaking (and it is!) but each one of them was carefully chosen from an even bigger list of maybe items. Almost every single one of these projects was selected because of its high impact to the final room on a relatively quick schedule for a not insane pricetag. There are a few big splurges obviously – the new picture windows weren’t strictly necessary but just irresistible for their added light. Re-flooring the entire house isn’t cheap either, but the tile was not in very great shape and to be honest it was one thing we just really wanted to update in a style that was more “us”. Flooring is also a task that is much easier to do before you move your furniture in, so we decided it was better to do now than wait and wish we’d done it later on. The process of choosing what to do and not do was a big balancing act between being sensible and letting our imaginations run wild, but I think we’re both pretty happy with where we’ve landed.

So without further ado, let’s walk through and I’ll show you everything we have planned. I cannot wait!

FORMER DINING ROOM/FUTURE PLAYROOM AND LIVING ROOM

Home renovation plans - Permanent Riot

The space that used to be the formal dining room was never really in scale with the size of the house or our family. We are dreaming of huge dinners with lots of friends and family, and with the level change to the living room there was never enough room for a truly giant table. Either you had it sideways and people had to scooch past the windows, or it was lengthwise and there were people perched at the very edge threatening to topple over. We decided to turn it instead into a playroom for the kids – right next to the kitchen and living room and in the middle of all the action. Opening the wall to the kitchen will help make the two spaces flow into each other and stop the awkward traffic jams in the doorway during parties. The patio door that we are replacing is in bad shape and hard to open, and one of our goals is to boost the indoor/outdoor flow of the house, so having single large panes of glass is really going to open things up (literally!)

FORMER FAMILY ROOM/FUTURE DINING ROOM

Home renovation plans - Permanent Riot

Ever since the idea of moving first popped into our heads I just knew that this had to be our dining room. It’s right next to the kitchen (on the other side from where the previous dining room was) and has big sliders out to the backyard, right next to the grill. Unfortunately the existing wooden sliders had warped over time, to the extent that if you stood in front of them you could literally feel the draft blowing in. We decided to take the opportunity to replace them with more modern sliders with larger panes of glass to let more light in. This room has gorgeous high ceilings and I just had this picture in my head of an amazing open and airy space with more than enough room for friends and family to gather. Eating meals as a family is a huge part of our lives (sometimes I feel like all I do all day is cook, clean, and get ready to cook again, and I love it that way!) and I really wanted one big and beautiful space to share those meals in. We also aren’t the kind of family who needs a formal living room and family room, we would rather be comfy cozy all the time, so we knew having both would be a waste. We’d much rather put those vaulted ceilings to work than have them full of formal furniture collecting dust. The new picture windows are a huge part of my vision for the room and one we went back and forth on – they’ll bring in massive amounts of natural light (something lacking in this side of the house) and also bring in gorgeous views of the landscaping outside, but strictly speaking they’re weren’t a “need to have” item. We ended up deciding to go for it in the end because we know how much they’ll transform the space – I cannot wait to eat our first meal in here!

KITCHEN (looking back towards the stairs)

Home renovation plans - Permanent Riot

The kitchen was easily the darkest room in the house when we started, and we wanted to do everything possible to brighten it up. First and most obvious on the list was re-finishing the cabinetry. The original wood is all in fantastic shape and while we wouldn’t have picked the arch-top paneling on the doors, they’ve held up so well (30 years and counting!) that it really just seemed wasteful to rip them out and replace them when a fresh coat of paint would do. That’s one of the projects we are doing on our own (rather than hiring it out to our GC) and it made a huge impact right from the start. The rest of the kitchen changes are very much cosmetic – new countertops (white quartz), new appliances (we are installing a gas cooktop to replace the old electric one) and some new light fixtures. I am so excited to have a new white and bright space to cook in!

KITCHEN (looking into new dining room)

Home renovation plans - Permanent Riot

Most of the big kitchen updates were more visible in the other shot, but we’re also removing this small arch into the dining room. It blocks the view to the dining room and we really just wanted to do everything we could to open up the flow of the house, both physically and visually. This is another of the “should we, shouldn’t we” items on our list but in the end it wasn’t much of an added expense and it’s going to have a big impact.

So there you have it – all of the big (and SO exciting) renovation plans. A lot of this work has already started or been completed but I haven’t gotten all of the photos together yet. We have a few more weeks left on the project and I’ll be sharing more as we go along. It’s going to be such an incredible space, I cannot believe we are actually going to be able to live in it. It’s a pretty amazing dream come true!

The big and exciting plans

We’re moving (and there’s a lot going on)

It’s a crazy idea, moving when you already love the house that you’re currently living in (and I LOVE our house) but the circumstances that led us to this decision are pretty once in a lifetime, so we had to go for it.

You see, my parents decided to move out of the house I grew up in. It’s a beautiful house on an amazing street – perfectly located near friends and family and sitting in the midst of a gorgeous back yard. I lived in the house from the time I was three years old until I moved out for college, and we even moved back into the house when I was pregnant with Edith. We had just come home from our Boston adventure and were house hunting and there was more than enough room for my parents and our then family of four. It’s a house that just invites gathering, lingering, enjoying of life. When we were growing up all of our friends would wander unannounced through the kitchen door. The front door and doorbell were hardly used.

House update before photos - Permanent Riot

When my parents decided to move I was heartbroken. I couldn’t imagine the house going to anyone else. I LOVE THIS HOUSE. But we had a house and we weren’t looking to move… so it just didn’t seem like there was any way we would end up there. It’s also a big house (much, much bigger than our current place) and we weren’t sure we wanted to take on the extra responsibility of maintaining so much home (and property).

House update before photos - Permanent Riot

There was also the issue of aesthetics and deferred maintenance. While fluorescent illuminated ceilings and oak cabinetry were all the rage in the 80’s when the house was built, they aren’t exactly the style that Ben and I would have chosen ourselves. There are also a few weird floorplan quirks and the kitchen is quite dark. The walls that form the galley portion are shear walls so they can’t be moved without engaging a structural engineer (at a very high expense). Those two walls prevent the nice light from the living room from entering the kitchen. One of the things that I love very most about our current house is the abundance of natural light in the kitchen (I spend a LOT of time in my kitchen) and we knew we’d need to brighten it up.

House update before photos - Permanent Riot

But despite everything that needed to be worked on with the house, I just kept coming back to the feeling deep in my gut – the one that said no matter how much work the house might be, it would be worth it. I just couldn’t turn it down. So over the last few months my mom and I have packed up the whole house. All of the knick-knacks and tchotchkes. All of the paintings we made in elementary school and framed family photos. It was surreal to watch the house slowly get stripped down. It felt like we were draining my childhood out of the rooms and I had the urge to stop and document. To capture one last time the way that the house was when we were growing up. When it was my parents’ house. Because as strange as it still is to say it, this is about to become our house.

House update before photos - Permanent Riot

This house has always been every inch a home, loved and cherished and lived in (really lived in) by everyone in the family. It seemed wrong to empty the house without first taking a minute to remember it as it was. Looking at these photos makes me so fiercely nostalgic that it almost makes me wish we were just leaving the entire house as it was. I can’t bear to think that my childhood home isn’t going to exist in the form that it takes on in my memory.

But at the same time I don’t want to live in someone else’s house, even if that someone else happens to be my parents. I want to surround ourselves with the things that make my own family feel at home. I want to give this house the same loving care and attention that my parents showed it for all these years, and for us that means that it’s going to see a few updates and changes. It’s not that we don’t love the house now. It’s that we do love the house. And we want it to feel like our home.

I was going to include some photos and sketches at the end of this post of the work we are planning on doing to the house, but as usual I got carried away and rambled on maybe a bit too long. I’m going to save the plans for another day, but we are so excited that you can bet there are going to be a lot more posts about the house. I’m also sharing some snapshots on instagram along the way (because I can’t resist the instant gratification of instagram) so you can look for those in my feed with the tag #thehouseprojectshavebegun. I can’t wait to share more of our plans!

We’re moving (and there’s a lot going on)

days 149-181 {the whirlwind we’ll call June}

July already?! We are completely and undeniably in the middle of summer. The crazy thing is that the last month was so hectic that it is almost like it never happened, or that I blinked and we hopped straight from mid May to the beginning of July. A few big things happened in June. The kids graduated preschool, one of my best friends had a brand new baby … and we officially 100% decided that we were going to move – and with that we embarked on a crazy break-neck pace plan to re-floor the new house before the move. Between all the moving plans and packing plans and cabinet painting we’ve been doing (more on that soon!) and the interviewing and hiring of contractors, we’re flat out exhausted. But the 365 must go on! I am absolutely determined not to fall behind this year and I haven’t skipped a day of photo-taking yet. June was a fairly iphone-heavy month but hopefully I’ll turn that around in the next few weeks.

So here’s to June… the month so crazy I can’t even remember it. And here’s hoping that July is just a little more subdued.

Days 149-181 : project 365 on Permanent Riot

days 149-181 {the whirlwind we’ll call June}